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Published on : Wednesday, April 19, 2017
The Arts and Crafts movement emerged in England in the 1880s and reached its apex from the 1890s to the outbreak of World War I. In response to the Industrial Revolution and mass-produced, machine-made objects, the movement emphasized a return to hand craftsmanship. Inspired by the writings of John Ruskin (1819–1900), who exalted the medieval craft guild system, artist and designer William Morris (1834–96) served as the movement’s spearhead. Arts and Crafts advocates rejected the ornate designs and compositions of Victorian-era interiors. Instead, they encouraged quality materials and construction with simple forms and motifs derived from nature. For the first time, many women took leading roles as designers and decorators in workshops created specifically to train and employ females.
Leading proponent of the Arts and Crafts movement in the United States, Gustav Stickley (1858-1942) batch-produced unadorned, carefully constructed, oak furniture in Syracuse, New York. His company also offered textiles and metalwork. In 1901, Stickley launched The Craftsman periodical, which promoted Arts and Crafts nationwide. Another pivotal American figure, Elbert Hubbard (1856–1915), founded Roycroft in East Aurora, New York. The Roycroft community produced some of the finest furnishings and metalwork of the era.
California quickly embraced and created its own regional variations of Arts and Crafts. A number of leading artisans called the state home; many of them lived and worked in San Francisco. Dirk van Erp (1862-1933), considered the finest coppersmith of the Arts and Crafts era, crafted table lamps with hand-hammered copper bases accented by mica shades, which produced a warm, amber glow when lit. Harry St. John Dixon (1890-1967) trained under van Erp and later worked for Lillian Palmer (1871-1961), who lent a considerably feminine air to Bay Area copper.
At Home with Arts and Crafts is located pre-security in the International Terminal Main Hall Departures Lobby, San Francisco International Airport. This exhibition is accessible to all airport visitors from April 22, 2017, to December 10, 2017.